Perhaps you know the expression, “a penny for your thoughts.” A small taskforce from the user experience team in the SAP Business Suite have taken that idea a bit farther – a cocktail in exchange for a chat about user experience.

At the internal d-code at the beginning of this year, the UX team rolled out (literally) their concept for a mobile cocktail bar to wide curiosity and delight.

SAP_UX-day

The idea is as simple as it is clever. A group of 3 to 4 designers push their makeshift cocktail cart loaded with a variety of juices and syrup. Each different juice represents part of the product team, for example development, product management, design, or knowledge management. Each type of syrup stands for qualities that are important to every team, such as communication, trust, and enthusiasm.

I followed the cocktail cart around SAP headquarters in Walldorf on a rainy November in the late afternoon to see for myself how this UX team spreads the word about the importance design.

chosing-a-cocktail
Marie-Simone Proksch and Gabi Lahme actively approached curious on-lookers and unwitting by-standers alike. “Can I get you a code cracker?”, “Or perhaps a designer’s delight?”, “What about a refreshing syntax error?” Once the drink was chosen, Dagmar Mayer and Elif Bicer got to work mixing the concoction while the others began a dialog about design and user experience.

 mix
As ice tinkled, talk ensued and more and more interested people came by, it didn’t take long for this to start feeling like a party. But unlike most of the parties I go to, the topic of conversation was not vacation, hobbies, or kids. Instead, it was centered around how we can ensure a better user experience for our products, encourage even more cross-team collaboration, and learn more about each other’s work and challenges.

design-dialog

Juice, syrup, and a splash of creative thinking turned out to indeed be a great way to get the conversation started.

Interested in putting together your own cocktail bar to help break the ice with your developers and business experts? Ask us for specifics in the comment section below or contact us at userexperiencecommunity@sap.com.

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